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Special Issue "Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Pankaj Lal

Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Clean Energy and Sustainability Analytics Center, Montclair State University, CELS 426, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource Management and Conservation; Energy and Emission Analysis; Economic Modeling and Impact Analysis; Climate Change
Guest Editor
Dr. Janaki Alavalapati

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, Alabama 36849-5418, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Forest economics and natural resources policy; Forest Bioenergy and Family Forests; Forest Conservation and Management Policy; Forest Resource Valuation; Forest Economics; Natural Resource Economics; Natural Resource Policy and Administration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cellulose-based bioenergy and bioproducts provide various economic, social, and ecological benefits. For example, forest-based sources are anticipated to reduce fire hazards and create new income opportunities for forestland owners, while perennial grass based bioenergy are anticipated to provide unique opportunities for agroforestry. Significant market opportunities for bioproducts also exist, particularly for producing emerging products such as biomaterials and biochemicals. Towards maximizing these benefits, various policy measures in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere encourage the production of cellulosic bioenergy and bioproducts. 

Although the number of publications on the topics is growing, various questions, such as the ones regarding stakeholders’ biomass supply decisions, public preferences, life cycle assessment, supply chain logistics, ecosystem services tradeoffs, techno-economic analyses, invasive species management, interaction of biomass supply practices with other forest management decisions, various ways biomass is grown, biochemicals and biomaterials, land use change, and public policy interventions warrant further research. Addressing such gaps are important, and would benefit decision makers, extension professionals, processing facility managers, and other researchers alike. This Special Issue intends to meet that research need. It also intends to be a one-stop source where readers can get latest research on cellulosic bioenergy and bioproducts in a synthesized format.

Dr. Pankaj Lal
Dr. Janaki Alavalapati
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cellulosic bioenergy
  • land use change
  • life cycle analyses
  • ecosystem services
  • perennial grasses
  • agroforestry
  • biochemicals
  • biomaterials
  • sustainable bioenergy policy
  • bioeconomy

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Potential Economic Impacts of Allocating More Land for Bioenergy Biomass Production in Virginia
Forests 2019, 10(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020159
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
The growing attention to renewable energy and rural development has created greater demand for production of biomass feedstock for bioenergy. However, forest growth rates and the amount of land in most existing forests may not be sufficient to sustainably supply the forest biomass [...] Read more.
The growing attention to renewable energy and rural development has created greater demand for production of biomass feedstock for bioenergy. However, forest growth rates and the amount of land in most existing forests may not be sufficient to sustainably supply the forest biomass required to support existing forest products industries and the expanding bioenergy industry. Additionally, concerns about agricultural land use competition have dampened expansion of biomass production on agricultural land base. One of the ways to meet the growing forest biomass feedstock demand for bioenergy production is by allocating currently marginal non-forested land for growing bioenergy feedstocks. In Virginia, about 80% of forestland is under nonindustrial private forest ownership. The land use allocation decisions of these private owners are critical for the supply of the forest biomass feedstock to support bioenergy production. We apply a computable general equilibrium model to assess the economy-wide impacts of forestland owners’ willingness to plant pine on non-forested land for woody bioenergy in Virginia. We consider three counterfactual scenarios of biomass feedstock supply increase as intermediate demand for bioenergy production based on forestland owners’ willingness to accept biomass bid prices to set aside more non-forested land for biomass production in Virginia under general equilibrium conditions. Overall, the results show an increase in social welfare and household utility but a marginal decline in GDP. However, increased demand of biomass from logging sector depressed the manufacturing sector (the wood manufacturing sub-sector particularly), which also relies on the logging sector for its intermediate inputs. Results from this study provide insights into the bioenergy land use competition debate, and pathways towards sustainable bioenergy feedstock supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Bioenergy Production on Degraded Land: Landowner Perceptions in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
Forests 2019, 10(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020099
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 20 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
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Abstract
Bioenergy production from degraded land provides an opportunity to secure a new renewable energy source to meet the rapid growth of energy demand in Indonesia while turning degraded land into productive landscape. However, bioenergy production would not be feasible without landowner participation. This [...] Read more.
Bioenergy production from degraded land provides an opportunity to secure a new renewable energy source to meet the rapid growth of energy demand in Indonesia while turning degraded land into productive landscape. However, bioenergy production would not be feasible without landowner participation. This study investigates factors affecting landowners’ preferences for bioenergy production by analyzing 150 landowners with fire experience in Buntoi village in Central Kalimantan using Firth’s logistic regression model. Results indicated that 76% of landowners preferred well-known species that have a readily available market such as sengon (Albizia chinensis (Osb.) Merr.) and rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Müll.Arg.) for restoration on degraded land. Only 8% of preferred nyamplung (Calophyllum inophyllum L.) for bioenergy production; these particular landowners revealed a capacity to handle the uncertainty of the bioenergy market because they had additional jobs and income, had migrated from Java where nyamplung is prevalent, and preferred agricultural extension to improve their technical capacity. These results contribute to identifying key conditions for a bottom-up approach to bioenergy production from degraded land in Indonesia: a stable bioenergy market for landowners, application of familiar bioenergy species, and agricultural extension support for capacity building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Impacts and Land Use Change from Increasing Demand for Forest Products in the European Bioeconomy: A General Equilibrium Based Sensitivity Analysis
Forests 2019, 10(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010052
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
The European forestry sector is a potential driver of transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. Forest products are increasingly used in high-tech and high-value-added industries, e.g., chemicals and the automotive industry. So far, however, research on the European bioeconomy has largely focused on agriculture [...] Read more.
The European forestry sector is a potential driver of transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. Forest products are increasingly used in high-tech and high-value-added industries, e.g., chemicals and the automotive industry. So far, however, research on the European bioeconomy has largely focused on agriculture as a provider of food, feed, fuel, and fiber to bio-based industries. Here we assess the potential impacts of a stronger reliance on forestry sector inputs to the European Union (EU28) bioeconomy on output, prices, final demand, and land use. Specifically, we run a sensitivity analysis of a 1% increase of input use of forest products in the EU28 economy in a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) framework accounting for land use by Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at high regional and sectoral resolution. We find that such a shift to a more forest-based bioeconomy would provoke small indirect land use effects globally due to existing international trade linkages and land market effects. Simulated increases in planted forest cover are associated with net GHG emission savings, but our scenario analysis also points to higher imports of forest products from countries with vulnerable tropical forest biomes, such as Brazil and Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Allometry, Growth and Survival of Three Eucalyptus Species (Eucalyptus benthamii Maiden and Cambage, E. dunnii Maiden and E. grandis Hill ex Maiden) in High-Density Plantations in Uruguay
Forests 2018, 9(12), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120745
Received: 18 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
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Abstract
This study presents a yield model for aboveground biomass production from three species the Eucalyptus in northern and western regions of Uruguay, based on sampling records from intensive crop plantations. High-density eucalyptus plantations represent a forestry alternative for the production of forest biomass. [...] Read more.
This study presents a yield model for aboveground biomass production from three species the Eucalyptus in northern and western regions of Uruguay, based on sampling records from intensive crop plantations. High-density eucalyptus plantations represent a forestry alternative for the production of forest biomass. This work assessed the survival and growth of three eucalyptus species (Eucalyptus benthamii Maiden & Cambage, E. dunnii Maiden and E. grandis Hill ex Maiden) planted at densities of 2220, 3330, 4440 and 6660 trees ha−1, for a period of 57 months in northern (Tacuarembó) and western (Paysandú) regions of Uruguay. Linear and logarithmic equations of individual volume were fitted by site and species. The survival of E. grandis, E. benthamii and E. dunnii was not related to planting density, and the highest mortality values occurred in Tacuarembó. The effects of competition among trees were more evident at the highest planting density for E. grandis. In all species, the reduction in diameter was more marked than that of height, as planting density increased. Tree volume showed the same trend, and this was higher with higher planting densities. At Tacuarembó, the volume was the highest with E. benthamii at 6660 trees ha−1 (416.4 m3 ha−1), and, at Paysandú, the highest production was obtained with E. grandis (370.7 m3 ha−1) and with the densities of 4440 and 6660 trees ha−1 (305.9 and 315.3 m3 ha−1, respectively). With all species and planting densities, there was an increase in the accumulated volume during the 57-month study period; however, growth curves indicate that the maximum production per unit time and, therefore, the optimum harvest time occurred at 48 months. In this work, it has been shown that the use of intensive short-rotation plantations of eucalyptus for the production of biomass in Uruguay is suitable in soils prioritized for forestry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Climate Change and Bioenergy Markets on the Profitability of Slash Pine Pulpwood Production in the Southeastern United States
Forests 2018, 9(10), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100656
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we assessed the impacts of climate change on the production of pulpwood and biomass for bioenergy, and the profitability of slash pine stands in the Southeastern United States. We employed the 3-PG (Physiological Processes Predicting Growth) model to determine the [...] Read more.
In this study, we assessed the impacts of climate change on the production of pulpwood and biomass for bioenergy, and the profitability of slash pine stands in the Southeastern United States. We employed the 3-PG (Physiological Processes Predicting Growth) model to determine the effects of future climates on forest growth and integrated it with a stand-level economic model to determine their impacts on optimal forest management. We found that the average production of pulpwood increased for all sites by 7.5 m3 ha−1 for all climatic scenarios and productivity conditions. In the case of forest biomass for bioenergy, the average increase was less than 1 Mg ha−1. Considering a payment for forest biomass for bioenergy of $4.2 per green Mg−1, the land expectation values (LEVs), on average, increased by $242.1 ha−1 under extreme climatic conditions and high productivity conditions. However, the increase in LEVs due to payments for biomass for bioenergy was small, accounting for $23 ha−1. We also found that the combined effect of increased site productivity and climate change reduced the optimal harvest age of slash pine. Our results confirm that emerging bioenergy markets coupled with changing climatic conditions can increase the economic returns for landowners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Miscanthus Crop for Sustainable Household Heating in Serbia
Forests 2018, 9(10), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100654
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates the environmental impacts and energy benefits of the cultivation of Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu.), in order to initiate its use in sustainable household heating in the Republic of Serbia. Based on the analysis of available data [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the environmental impacts and energy benefits of the cultivation of Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu.), in order to initiate its use in sustainable household heating in the Republic of Serbia. Based on the analysis of available data regarding the use of agricultural machinery in Serbia, a Miscanthus supply chain is constructed and examined in detail, scrutinizing all relevant operations—from planting of rhizomes to thermal energy production. Results of the life cycle assessment identify the briquetting process as the most environmentally burdensome operation due to high electricity consumption and low productivity. It is concluded that an average yield of 23.5 t dry matter (d.m.) year−1 obtained from 1 ha of chernozem soil would have energy output:energy input (EO:EI) ratio of 51:1, and would release 365.5 gigajoules (GJ) of heat during combustion in a boiler. With this amount of energy, around 383 m2 of a free-standing family house in Serbia can be heated annually. The same amount of energy is obtained by the combustion of 22 t of lignite or 23 t of wood logs. The substitution of lignite and wood with Miscanthus briquettes would lead to significant reduction of CO2 equivalents (eq), SO2 eq, P eq, N eq, 1,4 dichlorobenzene (1,4-DB) eq, Non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC), PM10 eq and U235 eq emissions. This designates Miscanthus as a more sustainable energy solution for household heating. In instances where more modern agricultural machinery is used, emission reduction is higher, except for CO2 eq due to higher emission factors predicted for more powerful engines. Depending on Miscanthus’ annual yield, the replacement of set-aside land with Miscanthus plantations result in carbon (C) sequestration from 0.08 t C ha−1 year−1 to 0.91 t C ha−1 year−1. In a modern machinery scenario, C sequestration is only attainable when maximal Miscanthus yield is obtained. The combined use of machinery with different engine power is the best option for Miscanthus cultivation in Serbia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Guava (Psidium Guajava L.) Wood Biomass for Briquettes’ Production
Forests 2018, 9(10), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100613
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 5 October 2018
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Abstract
Residual biomass from guava (Psidium guajava L.), a common and widespread fruit tree native to Latin America, has been analyzed in the present research in order to determine the biomass quality and its potential use for energy purposes. Obtained biomass was grinded [...] Read more.
Residual biomass from guava (Psidium guajava L.), a common and widespread fruit tree native to Latin America, has been analyzed in the present research in order to determine the biomass quality and its potential use for energy purposes. Obtained biomass was grinded and compacted into the form of fuel briquettes. Determinations of solid biofuel parameters, i.e., physical, mechanical and chemical properties such as calorific value, moisture, ash content, volatile matter, mechanical durability, contents of the main chemical elements and heavy metals were performed according to international standards. As a result, not inconsiderable traces of heavy metals were found, with a concentration of zinc 4.57 mg kg−1 as the highest. Guava’s moisture content (9.8%) comfortably fulfilled the minimum standard requirements and the net calorific value as received (17.11 MJ kg−1) met the average value of a wood. However, measured sulphur content (0.063%) as well as ash content (3.74%) exceeded the maximum allowed limits for the graded wood briquettes and, therefore, guava wood briquettes should be rather categorized as non-woody A class briquettes. The results of the study can contribute significantly to the knowledge of guava wood properties and its potential as renewable solid fuel since there is little published data about it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle CO2 Footprint of the Seeds of Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) as a Biodiesel Feedstock Source
Forests 2018, 9(9), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090548
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Crude rubber seed oil (CRSO) is a promising but currently underutilized biodiesel feedstock alternative, extracted by pressing the seeds of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Rubber trees are cultivated across more than 11.4 million hectares worldwide, mainly in Southeast Asia. Despite [...] Read more.
Crude rubber seed oil (CRSO) is a promising but currently underutilized biodiesel feedstock alternative, extracted by pressing the seeds of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Rubber trees are cultivated across more than 11.4 million hectares worldwide, mainly in Southeast Asia. Despite their suitability as a biodiesel feedstock source, rubber seeds are currently treated as waste in the monocultural plantation system. To date, no assessments have been performed to examine the potential impact of rubber seed-based biodiesel production on GHG emissions. This study analyses the global warming potential of rubber seed methyl ester (RSME) production in Southeast Asia. The functional unit used is 1 MJ of biodiesel. A sensitivity analysis assesses the influence of key parameters (e.g., rubber seed yield) on the GHG mitigation potential. A scenario analysis evaluates the effect of using RSME by-products for energy generation. In comparison to fossil diesel, RSME has a carbon mitigation potential of 67 g CO2.eq. MJ−1, based on allocation by mass. On the condition of compliance with international sustainability standards that call for deforestation-free value chains, the generation of RSME biodiesel on rubber tree plantations in Southeast Asia would have a total mitigation potential of around 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 eq. per year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Recent Health and Safety Incident Trends Related to the Storage of Woody Biomass: A Need for Improved Monitoring Strategies
Forests 2018, 9(9), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090538
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Self-heating fires, dust explosions and off-gassing during biomass storage are serious hazards which can have devastating consequences, resulting in worker fatalities and health impacts, as well as bioenergy plant destruction and complete loss of production. A compilation of incident reports involving biomass storage [...] Read more.
Self-heating fires, dust explosions and off-gassing during biomass storage are serious hazards which can have devastating consequences, resulting in worker fatalities and health impacts, as well as bioenergy plant destruction and complete loss of production. A compilation of incident reports involving biomass storage from 2000–2018 has revealed that these potential hazards continue to be a major concern in the bioenergy sector. Higher occurrence rates were found for incidents categorized as self-heating fires and fires of uncertain causes in recent years through our study of online reports. This paper highlights a critical need for improved safety protocols for bioenergy plant workers, detailed incident documentation and enhanced biomass monitoring strategies to drastically reduce the occurrence of threats associated with the storage of woody biomass. In order to manage the high risks associated with self-heating, a system for real-time monitoring of internal pile temperature was investigated. A monitoring system supplied by Braingrid Corporation was verified using embedded Tinytag thermologgers indicating that this methodology shows potential for preventing spontaneous combustion events by providing real time temperature data for superior pile management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Invasive-Plant-Removal Frequency—Its Impact on Species Spread and Implications for Further Integration of Forest-Management Practices
Forests 2018, 9(8), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080502
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
For a given invasive plant species and control method, effective invasive plant eradication requires regular monitoring and management. While most previous studies characterize invasive plant species, develop appropriate control methods, or prioritize species for management using aggressiveness and other considerations, few study why [...] Read more.
For a given invasive plant species and control method, effective invasive plant eradication requires regular monitoring and management. While most previous studies characterize invasive plant species, develop appropriate control methods, or prioritize species for management using aggressiveness and other considerations, few study why some forestland owners are less likely than others to regularly remove invasive plant species. Such information is useful in prioritizing and targeting forestland owners who are at greater risk for invasion, with the stands threatening adjacent forestlands. Towards this end, we surveyed 1800 forestland owners in Virginia and Texas. We use data on forestland owners’ socioeconomics and forestland features—such as acreage, forestland ownership objectives, and forest management activities—to determine how these factors affect the regularity of invasive-plant removal. For these purposes, we used the Cochran–Armitage trend test, the Cochran–Mantel–Haenszal regression, odds ratio estimates, and partition-analysis techniques. Our results suggest that female forestland owners, owners with smaller forestlands, and forestland owners without written forest-management plans are less likely than others to regularly remove invasive plant species. Forest-management activities, such as building/maintaining roads in the forestland, partially harvesting stands, and wildlife- and fisheries-improvement projects, also significantly predict a more regular invasive-plant-removal tendency. However, since these activities are potential pathways for the spread of invasive plant species, we controlled for the other significant covariates and measured the relationship between frequent practice of the given forest-management activities and having a tendency to regularly remove invasive plant species. The results suggest that forestland owners that regularly practiced the said forest-management activities have higher odds for tending to remove invasive plant species regularly, suggesting that, despite their demonstrated effort at removing invasive plant species from their forest, their management activities may be inadvertently contributing to the spread of invasive plant species. These results highlight the importance of integrating invasive-plant-removal plans with forest-management plans as well as forestland owners’ educational and outreach needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
Open AccessArticle Simulating Long-Term Effects of Bioenergy Extraction on Dead Wood Availability at a Landscape Scale in Sweden
Forests 2018, 9(8), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080457
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Wood bioenergy may decrease the reliance on fossil carbon and mitigate anticipated increases in temperature. However, increased use of wood bioenergy may have large impacts on forest biodiversity primarily through the loss of dead wood habitats. We evaluated both the large-scale and long-term [...] Read more.
Wood bioenergy may decrease the reliance on fossil carbon and mitigate anticipated increases in temperature. However, increased use of wood bioenergy may have large impacts on forest biodiversity primarily through the loss of dead wood habitats. We evaluated both the large-scale and long-term effects of different bioenergy extraction scenarios on the availability of dead wood and the suitability of the resulting habitat for saproxylic species, using a spatially explicit forest landscape simulation framework applied in the Swedish boreal forest. We demonstrate that bioenergy extraction scenarios, differing in the level of removal of biomass, can have significant effects on dead wood volumes. Although all of the scenarios led to decreasing levels of dead wood, the scenario aimed at species conservation led to highest volumes of dead wood (about 10 m3 ha−1) and highest connectivity of dead wood patches (mean proximity index of 78), whilst the scenario aimed at reaching zero fossil fuel targets led to the lowest levels (about 8 m3 ha−1) and least connectivity (mean proximity index of 7). Our simulations stress that further exploitation of dead wood from sites where volumes are already below suggested habitat thresholds for saproxylic species will very likely have further negative effects on dead wood dependent species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle High Throughput Screening of Elite Loblolly Pine Families for Chemical and Bioenergy Traits with Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Forests 2018, 9(7), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070418
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract
Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) dominates 13.4 million ha of US southeastern forests and contributes over $30 billion to the economy of the region. The species will also form an important component of the renewable energy portfolio as the United States seeks national [...] Read more.
Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) dominates 13.4 million ha of US southeastern forests and contributes over $30 billion to the economy of the region. The species will also form an important component of the renewable energy portfolio as the United States seeks national and energy security as well as environmental sustainability. This study employed NIR-based chemometric models as a high throughput screening tool to estimate the chemical traits and bioenergy potential of 351 standing loblolly pine trees representing 14 elite genetic families planted on two forest sites. The genotype of loblolly pine families affected the chemical, proximate and energy traits studied. With a range of 36.7% to 42.0%, the largest genetic variation (p-value < 0.0001) was detected in the cellulose content. Furthermore, although family by site interactions were significant for all traits, cellulose was the most stable across the two sites. Considering that cellulose content has strong correlations with other properties, selecting and breeding for cellulose could generate some gains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Selected Physical Properties of Conifer Cones with Relevance to Energy Production Efficiency
Forests 2018, 9(7), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070405
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 23 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
The paper presents gross and net calorific values, ash content, conversion factors, and bulk density for different-sized spent cones of Scots pine Pinus sylvestris L., Norway spruce Picea abies L., European larch Larix decidua Mill., and Silver fir Abies alba Mill. harvested from [...] Read more.
The paper presents gross and net calorific values, ash content, conversion factors, and bulk density for different-sized spent cones of Scots pine Pinus sylvestris L., Norway spruce Picea abies L., European larch Larix decidua Mill., and Silver fir Abies alba Mill. harvested from various sites. Gross and net calorific value and bulk density were measured in accordance with the relevant EN and ISO standards. The density conversion factors were determined based on free space measurement by means of water immersion. Gross calorific value for Scots pine, Norway spruce, European larch, and Silver fir was 19.04 ± 0.70 MJ·kg−1, 20.08 ± 0.87 MJ·kg−1, 20.37 ± 0.48 MJ·kg−1, and 20.79 ± 0.61 MJ·kg−1, respectively. The bulk density of larch cones was the highest at 223 kg·m−3, which corresponds to 9–18% of their specific density. The ANOVA test showed that the bulk density depends on the origin of the cones and is different for individual species. The conversion factors for the cones of Scots pine, Norway spruce, and Silver fir were similar and ranged from 0.18 to 0.26, while those for the European larch were much greater with a maximum of 0.55. All of the studied cones have shown a good potential as energy source, based on their physical characteristic and can be considered as a supplementary fuel. In the future, the study of chemical properties, such as the elemental composition and the ash melting temperature, will allow for a comprehensive characterization of the energy potential of the tested raw material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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Open AccessArticle Forest Biomass Policy in Minnesota: Supply Chain Perspectives on Barriers to Bioenergy Development
Forests 2018, 9(5), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050254
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Forest biomass used for heating, electricity, and biofuel production is a source of energy that could reduce the dependence on energy imports while reinvesting domestically. Using the appropriate scale and technology, the US state of Minnesota is poised for increased forest bioenergy production [...] Read more.
Forest biomass used for heating, electricity, and biofuel production is a source of energy that could reduce the dependence on energy imports while reinvesting domestically. Using the appropriate scale and technology, the US state of Minnesota is poised for increased forest bioenergy production due to the large existing forest products industry. Forest bioenergy investments have been slow to materialize despite state and federal incentives, and this research aims to determine what barriers there are to bioenergy development from the perspective of supply-chain actors by applying theories of natural resource governance. Findings from interviews include the need to create an equitable playing field in terms of energy subsidies and integrate forest bioenergy production with bio-based markets, including traditional forest product markets. Additionally, interviews indicate poor coordination and shared responsibility among state agencies, industry associations, and nonprofit organizations, resulting in a fragmented policy system. Principles to guide enabling forest bioenergy development are identified and discussed in the context of the study findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Bioenergy and Bioproducts)
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